Bylaw Enforcement

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Renting in Toronto?

Know your rights. Know your responsibilities.

Hundreds of thousands of people rent their homes in Toronto.  Every person living in rental accommodation has the right to expect that property standards are met. Property standards are the minimum standards to which a property is maintained.

News and Updates

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Renting in Toronto

Find out what your rights and responsibilities are when renting in Toronto.

Resources

ExpandRenting in Toronto 101

Hundreds of thousands of people rent their homes in Toronto. Every person living in rental accommodation has the right to expect that property standards are met. Property standards are the minimum standards to which a property is maintained.

The City’s Municipal Licensing and Standards division enforces property standards throughout Toronto.

If you have issues with the physical condition of the property that you are renting (taps that don't work, heat isn't working, broken window), talk to your landlord first. If things don't improve, call 311.

Residents should communicate with their superintendent/landlord first. If the issues are not addressed in a timely manner, you should contact 311.

Landlords and property managers have a responsibility to ensure that they comply with City bylaws.

Renters have a responsibility to pay their rent, keep the unit clean and and not intentionally or carelessly damage the unit.

Renting in Toronto? Know your rights. Know your responsibilities.

You have a right to live:
• In a home that is clean, safe and secure.
• With adequate heat, lighting and plumbing.

You have a responsibility to:
• Take care of your unit and be respectful of shared space.
• Allow your landlord to maintain your unit.

Need help? Call or email 311@toronto.ca

ExpandResidential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) was proclaimed on January 31st, 2007 and replaced the Tenant Protection Act.

What is The Residential Tenancies Act?

It is a provincial act that:

  • provides protection for residential tenants from unlawful rent increases and unlawful evictions
  • establishes a framework for the regulation of residential rents
  • balances the rights and responsibilities of residential landlords and tenants
  • provides for the adjudication of disputes and for other processes to informally resolve disputes

To view the Act, go to:

http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17

ExpandWindow Safety Devices

The Regulations

For the protection of Toronto residents, City of Toronto bylaws require window safety devices be installed on rental apartment windows that do not lead to a balcony, are more than two metres above the ground and less than 1.5 metres from the unit floor. The devices must prevent any part of the window from opening more than 10 cm, the amount of space a child can crawl through.

Common area windows that do not lead to a balcony must have a guard that complies with the Ontario Building Code, if the lower sill is less than one metre (3.28 feet) above the floor.

Removal of window safety devices may result in penalties for both property managers and tenants.

What is my landlord required to do?
It is the responsibility of the landlord, building owner or property manager to install and maintain the window safety devices in good working condition. A different device, such as a permanent guard attached over the window, can be used as long as it provides the same degree of safety.

As a tenant, what am I required to do?
As a tenant, you should make sure that window safety devices are kept in place and remain fully operational. If they become damaged, report this to your landlord, building owner or property manager.

What should I do if my windows do not comply with the regulations?
If window safety devices are missing from your windows or are not in good working order, do the following:
1.Notify your building manager in writing.
2.Contact 311 by phone or email 311@toronto.ca

What happens to the complaint?
When a complaint is received, a Municipal Standards Officer will come and investigate.
If there is a violation, the office will issue an Order to Comply, requiring the necessary repair work to be completed within a certain period of time.

ExpandWindow Safety Tips

Children can fall from a window or strangle on window cords. Protect your child’s safety.

  • Be sure to keep furniture, or anything else children can climb, away from windows.
  • Never leave a child unattended.

Teach your children not to lean against window screens and not to play near them.

  • Window screens are not strong enough to keep a child from falling out of a window.
  • Screens are designed for the exchange of air and to keep insects out, not children in.

Keep window covering cords out of reach of children.

  • Do not knot or tie cords together to shorten their length. This creates a new loop for a
  • child to become entangled. Always adjust the cords to their shortest length possible.
  • If ordering new custom window coverings, specify that you want a short cord.

Protect your child’s safety. Use window safety devices.

  • Window safety devices prevent windows from opening more than 100 millimetres (four inches), the space wide enough for a child to crawl through.

ExpandHelpful Contacts for Tenants

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)

ACORN Canada is an independent national organization of more than 70,000 low- and moderate-income families focusing on social and economic justice. 

Tel: 416-461-9233
toronto@acorncanada.org

www.acorncanada.org

ACTO (Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario)

ACTO works for the advancement of human rights and justice in housing for low-income Ontarians through test case litigation, law reform, community organizing, training and education.

Tel: 416-597-5855

www.acto.ca

Tenant Duty Counsel Program

The Tenant Duty Counsel Program provides information and limited legal assistance to tenants appearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenant Duty Counsel are available on a walk-in basis at any Landlord and Tenant Board location when hearings are scheduled. Tenant Duty Counsel do not schedule appointments. Tenant Duty Counsel prioritize tenants with same-day hearings and do not see tenants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Community Legal Aid Clinics
Funded by Legal Aid Ontario, community legal clinics employ lawyers, legal workers, paralegals and administrative staff to provide information, legal advice and representation.

To find the legal clinic that handles your community go to
http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=cl

Speciality Legal Aid Clinics

Specialty legal aid clinics represent specific individuals (e.g., seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS), deal with specific areas of law, and service clients throughout Ontario. Some clinics also specialize in areas of law for low-income clients who are marginalized for other reasons. These clinics are resources for other clinics, private bar lawyers, MPPs and community agencies.

For specialty clinics go to
http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=scl

Student Legal Aid Services Societies

Student Legal Aid Services Societies (SLASS), funded by Legal Aid Ontario, operate out of Ontario’s seven law schools. With the supervision of full time lawyers, volunteer law students provide legal advice and represent clients in cases such as minor crimes, landlord and tenant, immigration, and tribunals, including the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

For Student Legal Aid Services Societies go to
http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=slass

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)

CLEO develops clear, accurate, and practical legal rights education and information to help people understand and exercise their legal rights. The work focuses on providing information to people who face barriers to accessing the justice system, including income, disability, literacy, and language.

As a community legal clinic and part of Ontario's legal aid system, they work in partnership with other legal clinics and community organizations across the province.

Tel: 416-408-4420

info@cleo.on.ca

www.cleo.on.ca

Federation of Metro Tenants' Association

Tenant Hotline
The Tenant Hotline is a free telephone counseling service for tenants in Toronto. Hotline Counsellors offer information about tenants' rights to any tenant who calls.

Tel: 416-921-9494 or hotline@torontotenants.org

Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations website at www.torontotenants.org

 

ExpandHelpful Contacts for Building Owners

Federation of Rental House Providers of Ontario

FRPO is the largest association in Ontario representing those who own, manage, build and finance residential rental properties. Membership includes rental property owners and managers from one small building or single rental unit to large property management firms and institutional owners.

Tel: 416-385-1100
info@frpo.org

www.frpo.org

Greater Toronto Apartment Association (GTAA)

The GTAA was established as a municipal association to advocate for the private rental housing industry and to provide a source of information, representation and leadership in this sector. There are more than 240 property management companies and more than 160,000 apartment units.

Tel: 416-385-3435
info@gtaaonline.com
www.gtaaonline.com

Landlord's Self Help Centre

Non-profit community legal clinic which supports Ontario's small-scale landlord community exclusively. The centre provides information, summary advice and referrals.

Tel: 416-504-5190
info@landlordselfhelp.com
www.landlordselfhelp.com